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Rumph shines on the diamond for Guelph, Youngstown State

by Chris Daponte

DRAYTON - For Victoria Rumph, choosing between hockey and softball wasn’t easy, but it ultimately came down to one very simplistic idea.

“I just really love hitting,” she said. “There’s nothing like hitting the ball as hard as you can.”

And so, despite a talent and great appreciation for Canada’s official winter sport, several years ago the 20-year-old Drayton resident chose to concentrate on ball - and it’s a decision that has paid off ever since.

Rumph’s summer team, the Guelph Gators, just captured the silver medal at the junior national tournament in Windsor from Aug. 10 to 14, where she was named to the tournament all-star team.

And this week, she returned to train for her third season with the women’s team at Youngstown State University in Ohio, where she received a scholarship.

Over her two seasons at Youngstown, Rumph has posted impressive numbers catching and at third base with her Division I team. Last season she batted .303 over 46 games, with 20 runs, four home runs, and 27 runs batted in, to go along with a .955 fielding percentage.

She also made history as the school’s first player ever to be named to the  Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District Team, maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average in chemistry. And in her freshman year, Rumph was named to the Horizon League All-Newcomer team.

“It’s always nice to have that stuff under your belt,” she said of the individual accolades. “But really, when it comes down to it, I want to win a championship with my team.”

After struggling in Rumph’s first year, the Youngstown  Penguins rebounded last year to finish two games under .500.

“We look to keep improving from where we left off,” said Rumph, who has been playing ball for as long as she can remember.

Her main focus is winning the Horizon League  championship, although she also hopes one day to make the women’s national team. She has tried out the past two years for that team, being named both times to the top 30 prospects list.

After graduating, Rumph would like to coach softball somewhere in the U.S., otherwise she said she would likely return to Ontario to attend teacher’s college, with the goal of teaching high school.

Her desire to coach could likely be attributed to current assistant coach at Youngstown, Tiffany Patteson.

“That’s who I want to be like,” Rumph said of Patteson. “I hope I always have as much heart as she does.”

Of course, Rumph also acknowledges she wouldn’t be where she is today without the support of her family.

“They’ve been with me the whole ride,” she said of her parents, Brian and Tina, and her younger brother and sister (Laura and Brandon). They are fixtures at many of her games,  Rumph explained, and they’ve also helped her practice over the years.

She began playing at a very young age in local leagues in Wellington County before she started playing with Guelph teams at age 14. She was named female athlete of the year three times at Norwell District Secondary School, where she also played hockey, volleyball, basketball, soccer  and badminton.

 

August 26, 2011

 
 

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